A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: A Short Tale of Feline Leadership Gone Wrong

Miss Cuddlywumps reviews “An Incursion of Mice” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Kristine Kathryn Rusch does not write the cozy sort of stories I usually review in this space, but she does write some compelling, entertaining prose that sometimes includes cats. “An Incursion of Mice” is one of those tales, and it’s worth a read for its depiction of how a smallish cat society functions—or doesn’t, as the case may be.

The story is narrated by a former show cat who unfortunately landed on the street and then was lucky to be taken in to his current residence, where he lives with four other cats and two servants. He’s called by his “street name,” Wall T, and he thinks he’s in charge of the household. In his case, being in charge consists of having the other cats patrol the house for problems. Oh, and then there’s his research.

Wall T, you see, is an expert on crime and detective work, which he studies from the basement couch, or sometimes the recliner. He’s watched enough crime shows on television to understand how these things play out: dead body, car chase, fight, explosion. Always an explosion. But, like many leaders who fancy themselves adequate, Wall T is not as in touch with reality as he should be. And so, when one mouse and then two are found in the house, our brave leader sees his power quickly unravel as the horrible truth comes to light:

Wall T has allowed a major crime, an incursion of mice, to happen under his watch.

Perhaps he is not as well suited for command as he thought.

This story takes only minutes to read, but there’s a lot packed into it, making it worth a second read that promises to be just as entertaining as the first. Rusch’s straightforward prose is a joy, and this tale is studded with little nuggets of humor stemming mostly from Wall T’s unique view of the world. We especially enjoyed the bits about the Paw of Doom and the crazy tortie (living with two male cats and one tortie, She of Little Talent has seen her share of raised “paws of doom” and behavior that’s just plain loony).

Highly recommended!

Explore more by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

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